The "senior assassins game" being played with water pistols by members of the class of 2023 in the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District this week is getting a big thumbs down from principals at all three schools and the district's superintendent of schools.

The letter came after social media messages Wednesday with an explanation by organizers of the game about how it would be played and what you could expect to see players doing while playing started sounding an awful lot like tragic real-life events that aren't played with water guns.

The game is played in pairs or teams of students out in the community, who hunt for members of the other teams, or "targets", by hiding in bushes and surprising them at their jobs or at the gym.

Principals for the high schools: Michael McGhee of Oakcrest High, Dan Kern of Absegami High, Scott Parker of Cedar Creek High, and James M. Reina, the GEHRHSD Superintendent, all signed a letter published online Wednesday evening discouraging the playing of the game and prohibiting the playing of the game on school grounds.

...we just want to share some thoughts from a different perspective; at least three times in the last month a young person in this country has been shot with a firearm because they knocked on the wrong door or turned into the wrong driveway...the idea of hiding in bushes or behind cars and surprising people (in the dark) may not be the best idea...

The letter ends with an acknowledgment that it is just a game of "kids looking for fun", but that it won't be accepted or condoned by the school district.

Games such as the Assassins' Game are an age-old tradition, but, so is the lingering controversy and the discussion over it.

However, for senior-class high school students, it is just a time of bonding and laughter before they graduate and separate for their individual life journeys.

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